MedImmune relaunches FluMist

GAITHERSBURG, MD: MedImmune is set to embark on its relaunch campaign for the company's new refrigerated formulation of FluMist, a nasal mist vaccine for influenza, after the FDA approved the drug this month.

GAITHERSBURG, MD: MedImmune is set to embark on its relaunch campaign for the company's new refrigerated formulation of FluMist, a nasal mist vaccine for influenza, after the FDA approved the drug this month.

Fleishman-Hillard has been working as AOR of the product since last summer. FluMist is currently approved in healthy children and adults from 5 to 49.

Peter Greenleaf, SVP of marketing and sales, said the relaunch effort would include an awareness component targeting physicians and caregivers, as well as patients.

"We will attempt to educate people on the overall seriousness and overall burden of influenza to make sure people know they need the vaccination," he said. "We are working on threading our message into the marketplace."

Part of that campaign is likely to include the program SchoolMist, a vaccination effort that would target children during school hours.

Project plans were boosted when research published last month in The New England Journal of Medicine showed kids that received Flu- Mist reported significantly fewer flu-like symptoms than those in schools without such programs.

MedImmune is also asking the FDA to lower the minimum usage age to children older than one.

The vaccine is expected to be one of the company's largest growth drivers over the next three to five years, Greenleaf said.

FluMist has been marketed as a frozen formulation since its original FDA approval in 2003, but MedImmune created a new formulation, which it credits as a major step in the product's growth, according to Greenleaf.

"Changing the formulation was crucial," Greenleaf said. "This... gives us access to broader areas of distribution."

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